It may be one of the most unusual robotic applications to appear — ever — but you have to admit that artist Seth Weiner’s robotic fishbowl is one interesting piece of work.
According to a few posts and news stories scattered about the web (see sources, below), this creation — dubbed “The Terranaut Project” — positions a motion-detecting camera above a large fishbowl holding a large, brightly-colored fish. When the fish moves forward towards the front of the bowl, the camera interfaces wirelessly with a PC that makes the wheeled framework that the giant fishbowl rests upon move forward. Fishy movements to the sides and rear of the container generate similar movements in those directions as well.
Obviously created more as an art exercise than as a serious robotics application, the Terranaut Project nevertheless shows how the world of personal robotics is expanding into unexpected areas. A post over at News.com by Mike Yamamoto mentions some available YouTube video of the fish-ferrying device in action for the sceptics among us.